Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Our Sonoma Coast Chardonnay Vineyard: Part 2

Duncan Meyers (left) talking to Steve and Jack
Last week in our blog we talked about the trials and tribulations of planting our Chardonnay vineyard in the Sonoma Coast because of the incredibly rocky soil. The silver lining has been that the wines that have resulted have been worth the effort! The type of soil in a vineyard can have a huge influence on the quality of the wine. In a vineyard where the soil is as rocky as our vineyard in Sonoma, the grapes are forced to struggle to produce the grapes. The rocks also help the roots reach down very deeply, and the rocks carry the warmth from the sun down to into the soil. The presence of the rocks and the amount the vines struggle bring out all sorts of interesting flavors in the wine.

Nathan Roberts (left) and Jacky and Jim Young
A few weeks ago, the owners of the Chardonnay vineyard, Richard and Susan Idell, who have named the vineyard
"Michael Mara" after their children, hosted a tasting with all of the winemakers that make wine from the vineyard.  On hand at the event were: Duncan Meyer and Nathan Roberts, of Arnot-Roberts; Kevin and Todd Roland and Stephen Tebb of Rowland Tebb; Johanna Jensen of Scholium Project (winemaker is Abe Schoener); Jacky and Jim Young of Young Inglewood (with winemaker Steve Matthiasson); as well as the the Chardonnay made by Idell Family Vineyard (with winemaker Steve Matthiasson); Kesner (by winemaker Jason Kesner); and Iconic Wine (by winemaker Dan Petroski), plus our own Matthiasson Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.

One of the remarkable things about the vineyard is the distinctive flavors that are produced from the grapes there - terroir often shows itself in the finish, and all of these wines have a stony, rock dust flavor in the finish. They also have an eerily similar texture in the mouth, a weight that is hard to describe, but is almost like ground oyster shells or sea salt. But they all had a certain uniqueness to them that made them very special.
The Wines

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